Daniels Fund renews ethics grant to UCCS for another five years

Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Ethical Compass graphic

The Daniels Fund Board of Directors approved a $1.625 million grant to support UCCS’ participation in the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program 3.0 and the extension of the ethics champion program for schools of the Southern Colorado Higher Education Consortium.

The board announced the decision after evaluating the success of the renewal period, as detailed in a submitted report and proposal, demonstrating the university’s accomplishments and ethical impact over the past five years. In their announcement, Daniels Fund lauded UCCS for their excellent contributions to ethics education within the university, local community and across southern Colorado.

“We are deeply grateful for the renewal of the grant and the Daniels Fund enthusiasm and support for our program at UCCS that focuses on student learning in principle-based ethics across our campus and southern Colorado,” said Tracy Gonzalez-Padron, director of the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at UCCS. “The continued support allows the College of Business to serve as resource for ethics education and student experiential learning, while expanding our reach more broadly in southern Colorado, reinforcing the legacy of Bill Daniels.”  

UCCS will receive $1.625 million over the next five years to fund the objectives determined in the grant proposal, including the introduction of new programs, events, competitions and community outreach efforts.

In the report, UCCS presented key successes of the initiative over the past five years, including:

  • Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at UCCS Southern Colorado Higher Education Consortium Ethics Champion Program. The DFEI at UCCS piloted an ethics champion program to strengthen and expand principle-based ethics education to participating schools across southern Colorado. Through this initiative, resources were offered for curriculum development, outreach and workshops with an opportunity for the selected Ethics Champions to be leaders for ethics education in southern Colorado. UCCS collaborated with nine partner institutions and served over 36,600 students across the southern half of the state.
  • Southern Colorado Education Consortium Summit. DFEI at UCCS sponsored the first annual Southern Colorado Education Consortium Summit, gathering all of the participating SCHEC schools to discuss “Ethics in the Outdoor Industry.” 100 participants engaged with industry leaders on the importance of ethical conduct in outdoor and recreational industries.
  • Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at UCCS Business Ethics Case Competition. For nine years, DFEI at UCCS has successfully hosted the UCCS Business Ethics Case Competition. The case competition encourages undergraduate and graduate students across southern Colorado to showcase their critical thinking and ethical reasoning skills to a judging panel of business leaders from the community. DFEI at UCCS celebrated their largest event participation in 2019 with 46 students.
  • Sponsorship of numerous ethics speaker series, workshops, competitions and conferences. DFEI at UCCS sponsored many significant events and conferences over the past five years, including the internationally renowned Play the Game 2019 conference, EthicsFirst, Winning with Integrity, speaker Captain Scott Kelly, the International Society for Military Ethics annual conference, The Portal, various Lunch and Learns and ethics competitions, among many others.

With the renewed grant, DFEI at UCCS plans to expand current initiatives and introduce several new programs:

  • Ethics Integration into the Career Development R.O.A.R. Program. The newly launched R.O.A.R. Program, an acronym for Relationships, Opportunities, Acumen and Readiness, is a career curriculum to prepare students for a seamless transition from college to career upon graduation. Operating in three phases, each course of the R.O.A.R. Program will require students to earn “Ethics Badges”, which demonstrate an understanding of principle-based ethics in the workplace. Additionally, students will also attend industry tours at ethically focused organizations throughout the U.S.
  • Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at UCCS Student Ethics Ambassadors Program. This pilot program pairs students with a DFEI at UCCS Ethics Fellow to engage in ethics on a deeper level and gain program-based work experience with faculty experts in their field. Students will contribute to ethics programs, conferences and curriculum, providing lasting impact on their university and broader community.
  • Expansion of the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at UCCS Southern Colorado Higher Education Consortium Ethics Champion Program. Building on the momentum from the pilot program, DFEI at UCCS plans to expand the SCHEC Ethics Champions program to introduce an “Ethics on the Road” series and host additional conferences for students and educators throughout southern Colorado.

Daniels Fund launched the collegiate program in 2010 to reinforce the value of ethical business practices in college education. The initiative reflected the late Bill Daniels’ personal commitment to ethics and integrity.

UCCS was one of eight piloted universities in the program, which has since expanded to eleven institutions across Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at UCCS is led by Tracy Gonzalez-Padron, professor in the College of Business. 

“It takes a considerable amount of commitment and dedication to maintain this grant,” said Eric Olson, interim dean of the College of Business. “We are very thankful to our Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at UCCS faculty and staff for their hard work in achieving this distinction and for continuing to provide our students with the highest standards of business ethics education.”

All participating schools have successfully renewed their grant for another five years. The Daniels Fund Ethics Consortium schools include Colorado Mesa University, Colorado State University, New Mexico State University, University of Colorado Denver, University of Colorado Law School, University of Denver, University of New Mexico, University of Northern Colorado, University of Utah and University of Wyoming.

In 2020, Leeds School of Business also joined the Daniels Fund Ethics Consortium for Collegiate Program 3.0.

Together, each university will work to expand and deliver principle-based ethics education to their campus, local business community and beyond.


The Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at UCCS is a resource for principle-based ethics education, serving students, educators, and business community. The UCCS College of Business is one of eight original participating schools in the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative Collegiate Program that now includes ten participating business schools and one law school.  Since 2016, the Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative at UCCS has partnered with schools of the Southern Colorado Higher Education Consortium to expand principle-based ethics education. College presidents select one faculty member to be an Ethics Champion for their campus. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu/businessethics/ 

The UCCS College of Business was established in 1965 and has more than 1,300 undergraduates and 350 MBA and distance MBA students. The College of Business and Administration awards the Bachelor of Science in Business and Bachelor of Innovation degrees. The Graduate School of Business Administration awards the Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Accounting degrees. More than 10,000 alumni of the College of Business live and work around the world. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu/business.

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs offers 50 bachelor’s, 24 master’s and seven doctoral degree programs. UCCS enrolls about 12,000 students on campus annually and another 3,300 in online programs. For more information, visit uccs.edu.

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